Conversation on Creativity With Jeff Hein and Doug Fabrizio

April 23 2014


noun \ ärrh – T – …h \

1. A branch and/or expression of creativity.
2. The name of a somewhat old man.
3. The “H” is silent.


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Nothing spells that to be more truthful than art… and maybe dating websites. 

But most definitely art!

I was lucky enough to be one of the 75 or so audience members in the Utah Museum of Fine Art, for an incredible art display and reception for Jeff Hein – One of Utah’s (and the world’s) great realism painters. Realism isn’t about still art or landscapes, it’s about what’s going on around you and the people as they are, not from memory. Think Da Vinci but with out all the secrets, codes, and Tom Hanks motionless eyebrows. Seriously, watch him, it’s weird.

This event had an interesting dynamic. Not a delicious dynamic like chicken and waffles, but a fascinating one like what would happen to your little brother if he was, say, punched in the chest by Mike Tyson - crazy today’s Mike Tyson, not in his prime, better punching Mike Tyson. Simultaneously, Jeff would paint a portrait of radio personality, Doug Fabrizio, and Doug would interview him for his show on NPR. Two men at the top of their craft enter… and both men leave. I don’t know where I was going with that.

Projected by video to a large screen, everyone in attendance could see first hand how Jeff was painting Doug. Jeff paints crazy fast, like a mechanical cheetah from space. He just slapped paint on the canvas haphazardly, or so it seemed, but every stroke turned out to be something all too real looking. It was amazing to watch. Not even 2 hours later, the portrait was basically done. It was incredible what he could accomplish in that short of time! Jeff admitted to Doug that it was the hardest painting he had ever done in his career, and he’s had quite the career. When Doug asked why, if maybe it was because of all the talking Jeff was doing to answer Doug’s cutthroat questions, Jeff replied, “No, it’s because you’re talking to me!”

Doug, a very liberal type, and Jeff, a highly conservative type, clashed perfectly. Jeff was asked all sorts of difficult questions about his cancer, family life, and why he decided to leave the University of Utah’s art program (all the while, the Dean of the school was sitting right there in attendance). Jeff, being brutally honest, simply told him that the University’s program sucks. Flat out.  

I felt like screaming, “YEAH! TAKE THAT!” Even though I had no tie to really anything that was going on.

Afterwards, the audience could mingle, socialize, and speak to either Doug or Jeff. There was a real, stereotypical atmosphere about the reception. It was fancy, real fancy. Like seeing the snooty Monopoly Man in the corner, eating his cocktail weenies with his monocle on, fancy. But don’t worry, I, Penelope have been to plenty of fancy events before, so I was in no way, shape, or form, out of my element. This ol’ girl can hold her own at a ritzy party.  

“Penelope, are you doing OK? There’s a lot of snobby types around here.”

“Does Taylor Swift, ashamedly touch all of our souls through her music; always knowing just what to say and when to say it, so our knees grow weak and our lips quiver and tremble, ever so slightly…?”


The answer, is yes.